Racing enthusiasts from all over the globe flocked to the magnificent Medyan racecourse early yesterday morning to attend Breakfast with The Stars. And stars were aplenty – both the four legged and two legged varieties! With most horses have their final hit out on Wednesday morning, yesterday was a far more relaxed affair with jockeys riding longer and looking much more relaxed as they gave their mounts some light work in preparation for the big event on Saturday. Godolphin jockeys Mickael Barzalona, Franki Dettori, Ahmad Ajtebi, Kerrin McEvoy and Silvestre De Sousa all attended Breakfast with the Stars, and answered questions regarding their rides on Saturday.Emirati jockey Ajtebi’s confidence is sky high as he announced that his mount CAPPONI “will win” the big race
“I’m not dreaming of winning it. I will win it. CAPPONI ia a big horse who is improving with every race and likes the surface (Tapeta). He did it in a Group 1 last time over the same trip, so I don’t see why he can’t do it again.”
Glamorous female jockey Chantal Southerland downplayed the tough task of winning from barrier 14 on third favourite (10 to 1) GAME ON DUKE, runner up in the Breeders Cup Classic. Chantal will make history whether she wins or not, as the first female jockey to ride in the race. Bob Baffert, GAME ON DUKE’S trainer is now out of Dubai hospital after heart surgery following a heart attack early on Monday morning. He has been quoted as saying he needs to win the race to cover his medical expenses!
Yesterday’s local papers gave racegoers tips on what to wear on the big day ! Hats are listed as a MUST so thankgoodness we both have one. The main prize for the ladies fashion stakes winner is a years use of a luxury car in the UAE which isn’t much use to anyone living outside the country! Disappointing really as Jen and I thought we were in with a chance in the fashion stakes!!! Now we will just have to watch from the sidelines and wonder what might have been.
Great to see the Armidale stallions continuing to add to the long list of winners at home with SEAL THE PLAN (Ladoni), MISWAKI CALL (Tough Speed), TUKTOYAKTUK (Savoire Vivre) and BEVEN HEIGHTS (Grand Royale) all winning at Mowbray on Wednesday evening. Yesterday at Geelong YELLOW TAGH (Telesto – Sunset Clause) won for trainer Mark Webb.
SAVOIRE VIVRE has cleared out to a comfortable lead in the Tasmanian Sires premiership with winners of almost 1 million in stakes.
Last night whilst we were on the hotel balcony sipping our pre dinner cocktails ( life is unbelievably tough here!) we witnessed the most amazing 10 minute fireworks display. It was equal to the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks – they certainly don’t do anything by halves in Dubai. When we enquired as to the occassion, our waiter exlained that the hotels along the Jumeriah beach do this once a month for their guests!!!
Looking forward to meeting “Rob” the farrier tonight for drinks and dinner. Rob works for Darley and has taken Nick Hay under his ‘wing’ whilst Nick has been based here. Rob is a good friend of our farrier Adrian Crowther, who also worked here in Dubai for Darley for 6 years.
Then tomorrow it is the DUBAI WORLD CUP MEETING. So we will be frocking up and heading off to Meydan (which is only 10 minutes from the city centre) to witness the best horses and jockeys in the world vying for their ticket to immortality. Stay posted ……………………. Now I’m off to the pool to work on my tan -” they” say a nice even tan is a fashion must.